GREENVILLE, S.C. - Kerri and Jason Brown discovered a secret room behind a bookcase containing a homeowner's worst nightmare - mold.
Also in the room was a handwritten note: "You found it!" What the Browns found was a mold problem so serious the previous owner was forced to move, according to the note.
Fearing their young daughter's health, the Browns hired an environmental engineer who detected high levels of several types of mold, including a black mold fungus called Stachybotrys.
"It terrified me," Kerri Brown told WYFF-TV in Greenville. "I had heard reports of what it does for children, and I was terrified."
The Browns said a home inspection done before they bought it did not include a mold test.
The Browns filed a lawsuit claiming Century 21 Flynn & Youngblood, real estate agent Sue Bakx and Fannie Mae knew about the mold.
Fannie Mae, the Federal National Mortgage Association, bought the Brown's home for $75,000 and will be dropped from the lawsuit. The family plans to continue the suit against Century 21 Flynn & Youngblood and real estate agent Sue Bakx.
Both the company and the agent told the television station they didn't know anything about the mold. A telephone call to Century 21 was referred to Bakx, who did not immediately return a telephone message Friday.